April 14, 1561: UFOs Battle in the Sky Over Germany!

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A Brief History

On April 14, 1561, numerous Germans witnessed what they described as an aerial battle over Nuremberg, Germany. Unlike many UFO sightings, this celestial event happened in daylight, a little after daybreak, and featured numerous UFOs, perhaps even hundreds of them!  The image on the left depicts the celestial phenomenon over Nuremberg as printed in an illustrated news notice in the same month.  The image on the right is from 1566.

Digging Deeper

The UFOs were described as being in many different varieties, with shapes including crosses, arrows or spears, tubes, triangles, globes, crescents and other objects, variously flying and darting around the sky.  Shortly after the appearance of the large black triangle, a loud crash was heard.

Celestial phenomenon over the German city of Nuremberg on April 14, 1561 as printed in an illustrated news notice in the same month.


A news report of the incident stated the event started with objects seen on the Sun, witnessed by “many men and women.”  These various shaped and colored (mostly red or black) objects appeared to be fighting with each other.  The report further states that the “fight” lasted over an hour until the objects were “fatigued” and fell to Earth in smoke, though no mention is made of any evidence on the ground. A woodcut broadsheet illustration of the phenomenon was also made, later featured in the 1958 book by Carl Jung, Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies.  Jung, the famous psychiatrist that was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud, preferred to label the sightings as religious and military misinterpretations of natural events.  Natural explanations such as “Sun Dogs,” flying swarms of insects, clouds, birds, or other such normal things, have been postulated, but no definitive explanation has been made.

A portrait of Jung, unknown date


Not exactly a one-time event, a similar mass sighting took place in 1566 over Basel, Switzerland, in which multiple objects were witnessed by throngs of people, those UFOs also appearing to be fighting with each other.  This incident was also reported in the news of the day.

Flugblatt of Basel 1566, by Samuel Apiarius and Samuel Coccius.


What was in the sky over Nuremberg back in 1561?  Were these alien craft actually fighting with each other?  Were they some sort of time traveling man-made spacecraft that showed up at that particular time?  Was the whole thing just natural atmospheric phenomena or natural livings things such as bugs or birds?  Presumably those people in Germany were familiar with most of the natural explanations presented, so who knows?  If you have more information about this incident or an opinion to share, please tell us in the comments.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Hull, R. F. C. and C. G. Jung.  Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Sky.  Signet: New American Library, 1969.

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About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.